[Athen] Microsoft Narrator
lbencomo at uccs.edu
Wed Jan 18 13:14:49 PST 2017
Thank you all for your invaluable advice. I will recommend that our student learn either NVDA since it is a free tool and widely used around the world or JAWS since we have several JAWS stations on campus.
Assistive Technology Specialist
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, EPC 215
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-4202 / lbencomo at uccs.edu
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Dell
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 12:43 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Microsoft Narrator
I am delighted that companies are including accessibility tools in operating systems but in many cases they are not good enough for education or employment. I find it astonishing the number of students that have come in recently only knowing how to use the very basic built in accessibility tools. I have great respect for VoiceOver but not as much for my experience with ChromeVox and Narrator. Many K-12 schools because of lack of funding or because of lack of knowledge do not make tools like JAWS available for students to learn. This combined with school systems going with a single platform like Mac or Chrome where they do not support Windows. What will these students do when they enter employment and cannot use a PC? This is a growing trend that I'm seeing and it is causing students to come in lacking the tools they will need to be productive. I have talked with state rehabilitation counselors about this issue because since the student claims they know how to use a computer and doesn't often know what to request they pass them through without considering better tools.
These are things that students should be trained on as part of their transition planning. Some students can easily catch on or be taught on the fly. The majority of students that I have worked with and taught them an essential tool to be able to get access to a standard product fall behind the class and it effects their grades.
I have used Narrator on Win 10 recently and it has improved slightly but the student would be better served by more developed products like JAWS or NVDA. A couple of years ago I would have said the same about NVDA but it has really become a great tool that I prefer over JAWS in many cases.
On 1/18/17, Pratik Patel <pratikp1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> If your university uses Windows 10 and constantly updates as major
> updates are released, then the student can use Narrator for most
> activities. For now, however, I’d recommend that she learn NVDA or
> JAWS. NVDA has a less of a learning curve.
> From: athen-list
> [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of
> Leyna Bencomo
> Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:59 PM
> To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
> <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
> Subject: [Athen] Microsoft Narrator
> I have a new student who is newly blind and has been using Microsoft’s
> “Narrator” which is the in-the-box screen reader for Windows. She is
> not an expert by any means and is willing to learn another screen
> reader if I recommend it. I have no current knowledge of Narrator so
> I don’t feel qualified to answer her.
> She is a freshman, an athlete and not majoring in a STEM program.
> Why do my wise colleagues think? Does she need to learn JAWS or NVDA?
> Or can she stick with Narrator for her college career. BTW, she
> depends on her Android smartphone for most things.
> Leyna Bencomo
> Assistive Technology Specialist
> Information Technology
> University of Colorado Colorado Springs
> 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, EPC 215
> Colorado Springs, CO 80918
> (719) 255-4202 / <mailto:lbencomo at uccs.edu> lbencomo at uccs.edu
> <http://www.uccs.edu/~it/> http://www.uccs.edu/~it/
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